If you’re looking for darker industrial vibes with a hint of shoegaze, you needn’t look any further than Now After Nothing’s debut singles. After sprinting out of the starting gate with “Sick Fix,” Matt Spatial and company keep their eyes fixed on the future with big plans and bigger sounds.
What started out as a solo project has now accumulated into a darkwave duo with Michael Allen helming the echoing, doom-filled drums. With the additional expertise of sound engineers, John Davis (U2, Joan Jett) and Carl Glanville (Placebo, JAMC, Suede), filling out their brooding and ferocious sound, Now After Nothing is poised to become mainstays in the realm of electronic hard rock.
“I think it was just a natural inclination for me to create the same music I would want to hear as a fan of the genre myself with the addition of elements from other genres as well,” says Spatial about the bands unique sound.
“I fell in love with bands like Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, etc. but also noisy and shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. Throw all of those influences into a big pot…err, I mean witches’ cauldron (ha!), add a dash of electronica, and you have Now After Nothing.”
In their debut single, “Sick Fix” (which I had the pleasure of covering a few weeks ago), there is an immediate draw to the electrically charged sonic abyss that the band lurks within. There’s a sense of chaos in the noisy landscape that makes the composition a bit abrasive, but endlessly thrilling. In the giant stacks of sound, it’s weird that the music feels both smooth and buzzy – like being submerged deep in a violent ocean. You can’t see the waves happening above the surface, but you can feel vibrations their incessant falling and crashing all the same.
With a sound so large and cathartic, it’s understandable that listeners would be pulled in like a riptide. Thinking back to the single’s life out in the world so far, Spatial says, “I think the collective reaction to the single has been the biggest standout for me, actually. All of the reviews have been really favorable, but the amount of interest the single generated in total was a very pleasant surprise. As a brand-new band, it’s sometimes hard to generate interest, but ‘Sick Fix’ really seemed to make a strong first impression.”
With the success of “Sick Fix” firmly in pocket, Now After Nothing has their next move locked and loaded in the form of their second single “Fixation Fantasy.” Where the debut felt more like a thesis on the band’s aesthetic origins, this new single takes a decidedly sensual turn. Like Nine Inch Nails and Deftones before them, there is plenty of space in this single for dark, sexy tones to seep in, but even beneath that layer, there is something more important: and undercurrent of flow that feels unbreakable.
“[It was] definitely a feeling that I was following,” Spatial says. “I am a music-first / lyrics-last songwriter, and ‘Fixation Fantasy’ started out with me dialing in the tone for the gnarly distorted bass in the opening. Before I even got past that opening bass line, I felt the mood of what the sound would be. All of the dissonance of the guitars, the dreary vocals… I just had to get it all out of my head and into audio form. What was funny though was that I didn’t even realize how bizarre the song was structured harmonically until listening back much later.”
When asked about the possibility of more singles, an EP, and live shows, Spatial’s response was enthusiastic, “Yes, yes, and yes! We have a few more singles up our sleeve that will be coming out of the next few months followed by an EP with these first songs and a couple more.”
Given the dark electronic grandeur that their first two singles have brought forward, it’s exciting that there is more to come from Now After Nothing before the end of the year. As they fill out their official line up, bringing their thrills to a live stage is inevitable.
“Because this started out as a solo project that morphed into a duo for the recordings – Michael on drums and me on everything else – I’m in the process now of building out the remainder of the live lineup of the band. I’m very much looking forward to playing out as soon as possible,” says Spatial.
At the end of the day, the Spatial and company are happy to have their unique sonic signature acknowledged and supported. “Just know how appreciative I am for any/all support thus far and as we continue to move forward with the band! I hope you will give us a listen and keep your eyes and ears open for more music to come.”
Be sure to follow them on their various social media platforms (Spotify, BandCamp, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) for updates on future releases and performances, and be sure to check out both “Sick Fix” and “Fixation Fantasy” on your streaming service of choice.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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